Manila: Duterte confronts Reds on ‘dictator’ tag

The communist movement’s manner of calling him a “fascist dictator” reveals its two-faced peace negotiation agenda, President Rodrigo Duterte stressed late Tuesday night.

Expressing his apparent dismay over the leftists’ mass demonstrations throughout the two-day Asean meeting, the Chief Executive said: “Just like the NPA (New People’s Army), look at the propaganda outside. (They call me) ‘Duterte-US Fascist Dictators.’

“If I am a dictator, why are you forcing me to talk to you? Look at the propaganda. ‘Resume peace talks, Resume peace talks.’”

Mr. Duterte and US President Donald Trump held bilateral meetings last Monday, reviewing the US-Philippines alliance with some possible alterations and discussing the country’s counter-terrorism efforts.

“If you think that I’m a fascist and a killer, why are you talking to me?” he told reporters after the concluding rites of the Philippines’ hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.

Describing the two leaders as “fascists with unparalleled disdain for human rights,” movements such as national democratic youth group Anakbayan said Trump’s visit further cemented the neocolonial relations between Manila and Washington.

Accusing the Chief Executive of dependency on the US, the group also said Trump’s visit provided a green light to Mr. Duterte’s attacks on the people, bolster a neoliberal economic agenda that will rob the country of its sovereignty, and further militarize the country as the region experiences heightened military tensions.

“Trump is bringing the Asia-Pacific onto the brink of nuclear war with his stepped up provocations against North Korea. But Duterte is all too happy to drag the Philippines into another US war of aggression to please his idol and puppetmaster Donald Trump,” said Anakbayan secretary general Einstein Recedes.

Anakbayan National Chairman Vencer Crisostomo denounced the summit, accusing it of pushing the removal of constitutional limits to foreign ownership of land, utilities and other industries.
“The Asean Summit translates to unlimited exploitation and unlimited plunder by pushing for the removal of all trade and investment barriers to allow the unlimited plunder and exploitation of Filipino resources and cheap labor,” he noted.

Mr. Duterte had earlier said he was “friends” with the communist rebels when he was a Davao City mayor for 22 years.

“We used to talk. We were friends.”
But the Communist Party of the Philippines and Mr. Duterte’s relationship has passed through unpredictable phases over the past few months.

Unilateral ceasefires between state security forces and the NPA began August last year but ended on February 11 this year following the rebels’ decision to end the ceasefire, accusing the military of spying on them in areas where they operate.

While it was the Reds that gave the first hint, it was Mr. Duterte who first lifted the ceasefire order. The truce suspension delayed the scheduled fourth round peace talks from March to April.
Both the government and the rebels decided to continue talking while firefights on the ground are happening.

While the fourth round of talks went successfully, the fifth round — originally scheduled for June — was canceled following the rebels’ threat of ‘intensifying” its operations against government forces following the Chief Executive’s declaration of martial law throughout Mindanao.


Courtesy: The Daily Tribune | Written by  Ted Tuvera  | Thursday, 16 November 2017


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